Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

When it came out, I thought Attack of the Clones was better than the first prequel, because I was 15 and it had MORE ACTION. But it's really not true. Is there some rule that people named Hayden have to be bad actors? Panettiere is pretty crappy on Heroes and Christensen is the same here. I hesitate to blame the prequels' badness on him because I honestly don't dislike that guy, but what else can you say when he's the star? I lay most of the blame at Lucas' feet, but a great Anakin could have done a lot of salvaging of the emotional core that makes these movies even close to relevant to the other ones. Without them being the story of Anakin's downfall, they're really just typical brainless science fiction. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here, really. I've heard that Christensen has been pretty good in other movies, and no one really seems to do their best on a green screen sound stage with Lucas' ability to direct actors being unknown beyond saying "faster and more intense!", so I'll go with my nerd instincts and blame it all on George.

I really don't hate any of these movies that much. Besides The Clone Wars, I mean. I can enjoy a silly movie with entertaining action scenes. And that describes Attack of the Clones pretty well. It's just disappointing to see the heart get slowly sucked out of a beloved series. Making Yoda digital is probably what really got the ball rolling. Yeah, seeing him flip around with a lightsaber like a mad man is hilariously entertaining, but at what cost? Why is doing so many extraneous tumbles through the air anyway. I prefer the old days when the fights weren't quite so elegant but every move had a purpose besides looking neat. Luke was trying to beat Darth Vader, not do the better triple salchow. The overreliance on computer effects is really what gets me more than the silly things that change the series' tone. Besides some background elements, they're rarely convincing, and it just pulls you out of the experience. And as the movies go on, they're pretty much all that's left.

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